Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Group wants probe of utility’s jets, luxury helicopter

Tennessee Valley Authority:  http://registry.faa.gov

Tennessee Valley Authority Extravagant Executive Toys at Your Expense:  http://blog.cleanenergy.org


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A clean-energy advocacy group called for an investigation Tuesday after finding that the Tennessee Valley Authority bought two corporate jets, a luxury helicopter and another plane in recent years. The utility says its inspector general is already reviewing the matter.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy focused on the 2015 and 2017 model jets, 2013 helicopter with a Mercedes-Benz upgrade trim and 2015 turboprop airplane. TVA says the aircraft were bought for about $35.3 million.

TVA maintains that the planes and helicopters are necessary to meet customers and stakeholders and pursue economic development by attracting companies to the region.

Alliance executive director Stephen Smith called the aircraft purchases “the very definition of corruption of the TVA mission.” The clean energy group did not specify who should investigate, but called for oversight from TVA’s inspector general and Congress.

“Buying extravagant jets and helicopters is a hijacking of the TVA Act, whose stated purpose is to protect the residential customers, not buy flashy toys for millionaire executives or cut backroom deals with private industry,” Smith said in a news release.

TVA executive vice president of operations Mike Skaggs said the inspector general review of its aircraft is underway. Other electric utilities similar to TVA have the same type of equipment, Skaggs added.

“In most cases, the planes that others use that are our peers, are bigger and more expensive than the ones we use,” Skaggs said.

TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said private aircraft are the only safe, timely option across TVA’s 80,000-square-mile, seven-state service area, which largely lacks commercial flights.

Operating the modern jets costs just 7 percent more than the older turboprops, with improved safety and performance, Hopson said.

TVA services Tennessee and parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia.

The aircraft purchases drew criticism from others besides clean energy advocates.

Debbie Dooley, who helped found the ongoing national Tea Party movement and is president of Conservatives for Energy Freedom, said the purchases show TVA CEO Bill Johnson needs to be replaced.

Johnson, the highest-paid federal employee in the nation, receives a compensation package of more than $6 million, including retirement and other benefits. The TVA board has said Johnson’s pay is still low compared to salaries of utility executives not in public service.

Elder Jimmie Garland, vice president of the Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP, said the findings show the need for independent oversight of the nation’s largest public utility.

Skaggs said TVA’s fleet includes the two jets, a dozen helicopters of different types and the turboprop plane, which is no longer being flown and is waiting to be sold.

Other TVA helicopters support inspection, maintenance and repairs of TVA’s 16,000-mile transmission system.

TVA bought the used luxury helicopter for almost $7 million in 2015, Skaggs said.

Since 2013, Skaggs said TVA has helped attract more than 330,000 jobs to its region and almost $40 billion worth of investment. He said the Mercedes-Benz helicopter helps TVA give companies a quick flyover and explanation of the electric rates when they are considering moving to the area.

“The cost of the helicopter is great. It is a big expenditure.” Skaggs said. “But it’s a great capital investment.”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.seattletimes.com

Questions remain after drone collides with helicopter on Kauai



HONOLULU -  As a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter flew along the Na Pali coast Friday afternoon, a white drone hit the helicopter mid-flight. 

"You absolutely have to give the right of way to a manned aircraft. This is an FAA rule and it's something you have to do," said Alexey Volobuev. 

Volobuev is a Drone Pilot who teaches safety classes at Hawaii Drone Academy and Computational Thinkers. 

"Unfortunately people may buy a drone without really realizing the responsibilities they're also acquiring by acquiring a drone," said Volobuev. 

Officials at the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) said it is illegal for drones to fly at state parks. 

State statutes also outline severe penalties for those who operate drones illegally:

"Chapter 184 Hawaii Revised Statutes: 

§184-5 Rules and enforcement; penalty.  (b)  Except as provided in subsection (c), any person violating this chapter, any rule adopted pursuant thereto, or the terms and conditions of any permit issued thereunder, in addition to any other penalties, shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than:

(1)  $100 for a first offense;
(2)  $200 for a second offense; and
(3)  $500 for a third or subsequent offense.

§184-5.5  General administrative penalties.  (a)  Except as otherwise provided by law, the board or its authorized representative by proper delegation may set, charge, and collect administrative fines to recover administrative fees and costs as documented by receipts or affidavits, including attorney's fees and costs; or bring legal action to recover administrative fines, fees, and costs, including attorney's fees and costs; or payment for damages or for the cost to correct damages resulting from a violation of this chapter, any rule adopted, or permit issued thereunder.

(b)  The administrative fines shall be as follows:
(1)  For a first violation, a fine of not more than $2,500;
(2)  For a second violation within five years of a previous violation, a fine of not more than $5,000; and
(3)  For a third or subsequent violation within five years of the last violation, by a fine of not more than $10,000."

Despite the penalties, DLNR officials said catching a drone user operating a device illegally is not easy.

"The likelihood of an enforcement officer or an official with state parks being where they are is very, very low, so enforcement is a tremendous challenge," said Alan Carpenter, Assistant Administrator for DLNR's Division of State Parks.  

Many drone users are willing to hike for miles, to capture a view from above. 

"A drone can essentially provide the ultimate selfie, and so that's what people are using them for to capture pictures of themselves in more and more extreme locations," said Carpenter.  

With more drones taking to the skies, Rep. Angus McKelvey (D- Lahaina) introduced legislation to form a drone task force through the Lieutenant Governor's Office. 

"A permanent working group would mirror what other states have done, as far as having all the stakeholders together constantly making recommendations and interfacing with the federal government," said McKelvey.    

McKelvey said it's still unclear who is supposed enforce the rules for drone use. 

"We don't know, I mean, is it the police department? Do we have the same issues as we do in the maritime environment, where if you're beyond the high tide mark, it's the state?" said McKelvey.  

Despite questions and confusion, one thing stakeholders know for sure is drones are here to stay. 

"We just have to learn how to coexist in the same airspace safely," said Volobuev. 

McKelvey's bill did not make deadline to pass first reading, but he said he plans to re-introduce the measure in the future.     

Story, video and comments ➤ http://www.kitv.com




The Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources have initiated an investigation into a report of a drone that struck a tour helicopter on Kauai.

The collision reportedly occurred at about 1:45 p.m. Friday while the aircraft of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters was flying over the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park near Nuuolo.

“There were no reported injuries to the pilot or passengers,” said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor in an e-mailed statement. “The pilot reported scratches on the aircraft belly but no significant damage.”

The owner of the drone is unknown at this time.

A representative at Blue Hawaiian Helicopters declined to comment on the collision.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.staradvertiser.com

Southwest Airlines, Boeing 737-700, N906WN: Incident occurred February 12, 2018 at John Wayne-Orange County Airport (KSNA), California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Long Beach 

Flight 2123:  While at gate experienced a fire, fire extinguished with suppression system. 

Southwest Airlines Company:  http://registry.faa.gov/N906WN

Date: 12-FEB-18
Time: 21:23:00Z
Regis#: N906WN
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Flight Number: 2123
City: SANTA ANA
State: CALIFORNIA







A Southwest Airlines flight was departing for San Jose from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana when a fire was reported aboard the plane on Monday night, an airport spokeswoman said.

The fire — which has since been put out — broke out on Southwest flight #2123, causing its emergency chutes to deploy, according to the airport. Evacuations slides were used to remove passengers and crew members from the plane, the airline said.

It was reported at about 7:30 p.m., Deanne Thompson, an airport spokeswoman, said.

"A few minor injuries" were reported by the airport in a tweet, although officials have not released further information about those — only saying no one was taken to a hospital for treatment.

No serious injuries were reported, according to a statement from Southwest Airlines.

The flight was carrying 139 passengers and 5 crew members, airport officials tweeted. An hour after the fire was first reported, Southwest Airlines was still working on getting those passengers onto other flights the same night, Thompson said.

However, as baggage for each passenger has to now be transferred onto other planes, Southwest has no exact time frame for when people would be ensured a replacement flight, she said.

In a statement, the airline said its employees in Orange County were "working diligently" to make accommodations for passengers.

"We regret any inconvenience the event has caused," the airline statement read.

John Wayne Airport tweeted that the fire had been put out just before 8:00 p.m.

At the time the fire broke out, the plane was pushing back from the gate, Thompson said. It was located in the auxiliary power unit, which is a small engine in the rear of the plane.

Soon after the fire was reported, the airline crew decided to evacuate passengers from the plane, the airport said in tweet.

By 8:35 p.m., the airport tweeted that operations across its facility were "back to normal."

Story and video ➤ http://ktla.com

Glasair, N74CN: Incidents occurred February 12, 2018 -and- September 06, 2017 at Van Nuys Airport (KVNY), California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Main gear collapse.

http://registry.faa.gov/N74CN

Date: 12-FEB-18
Time: 20:02:00Z
Regis#: N74CN
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: GLASAIR
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: VAN NUYS
State: CALIFORNIA

Aircraft on landing, went off the runway into the grass.

Date: 06-SEP-17
Time: 21:38:00Z
Regis#: N74CN
Aircraft Make: GLASAIR
Aircraft Model: GLASAIR
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: VAN NUYS
State: CALIFORNIA

Beech King Air 90, N118MF: Accident occurred February 12, 2018 at Siskiyou County Airport (1O5), Montague, California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N118MF

Location: Montague, CA
Accident Number: GAA18CA137
Date & Time: 02/12/2018, 1545 PST
Registration: N118MF
Aircraft: BEECH C90
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The pilot in a retractable landing gear-equipped airplane, accompanied by a company check-pilot, reported that they were conducting a training flight, in preparation for a 14 CFR Part 135 check ride.

During a no-flap landing exercise, as the airplane crossed the runway threshold, the airplane power was set to idle, and the aural warning sounded, which indicated that the landing gear was retracted. The airplane landed with the landing gear retracted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage.

The pilots reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Check Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 72, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/14/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/20/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 11200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7000 hours (Total, this make and model), 7250 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/05/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/07/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 5200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1110 hours (Total, this make and model), 3700 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N118MF
Model/Series: C90 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1994
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: LJ-1383
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/08/2018, AAIP
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 10100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 8343 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-21
Registered Owner: MERCY FLIGHTS INC
Rated Power: 550 hp
Operator: MERCY FLIGHTS INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: GCSA 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMFR, 1329 ft msl
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 40 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 334°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 11°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots, 350°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.28 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: MEDFORD, OR (MFR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: MEDFORD, OR (MFR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1320 PST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information


Airport: SISKIYOU COUNTY (SIY)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2651 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7490 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  41.781389, -122.468056 (est)

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N439LP, 3D Sceneshop LLC: Incident occurred February 12, 2018 at Fullerton Municipal Airport (KFUL), Orange County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Long Beach

Aircraft swerved and lost control on runway.

3D Sceneshop LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N439LP

Date: 12-FEB-18
Time: 18:25:00Z
Regis#: N439LP
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172S
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
City: FULLERTON
State: CALIFORNIA

North American T-28A Trojan, N5015L, Andiamo 360 LLC: Incident occurred February 12, 2018 at Riverside Municipal Airport (KRAL), California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Riverside

Aircraft aborted takeoff, exited the runway and came to a rest.

Andiamo 360 LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N5015L

Date: 12-FEB-18
Time: 21:48:00Z
Regis#: N5015L
Aircraft Model: T 28A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: RIVERSIDE
State: CALIFORNIA

Cessna 177B, N3438S: Incident occurred February 12, 2018 at New Century AirCenter Airport (KIXD), Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Olathe

Aircraft departed, experienced low oil pressure, fire, smoke in the cockpit and returned.

http://registry.faa.gov/N3438S

Date: 12-FEB-18
Time: 16:50:00Z
Regis#: N3438S
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 177B
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: INITIAL CLIMB (ICL)
Operation: 91
City: OLATHE
State: KANSAS

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N529ER, Marcks Aircraft LLC: Incident occurred February 12, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Dallas

Aircraft exited taxiway, struck taxiway light.

Marcks Aircraft LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N529ER

Date: 12-FEB-18
Time: 18:30:00Z
Regis#: N529ER
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172S
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: FORT WORTH
State: TEXAS

Bell 407, N434PH, PHI Air Medical Inc: Incident occurred February 11, 2018 in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas -and- Incident occurred August 04, 2017 in Midlothian, Ellis County, Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fort Worth, Texas

Rotorcraft made a hard landing.

PHI Air Medical Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N434PH

Date: 11-FEB-18
Time: 21:45:00Z
Regis#: N434PH
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 407
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: LANCASTER
State: TEXAS

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fort Worth, Texas

Rotorcraft rotor blade struck vertical finlet.

Date: 04-AUG-17
Time: 00:00:00Z
Regis#: N434PH
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 407
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: MIDLOTHIAN
State: TEXAS

Hughes 369D, N338HW, Heliwild Investments LLC: Accident occurred February 12, 2018 in Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah

Analysis

The helicopter pilot reported that he was maneuvering at a low altitude in an attempt to net an elk. When the helicopter was approximately above the elk, his attention was immediately focused forward due to a small rise in terrain. He pitched the helicopter's nose up, and the helicopter started to shake and spin. Subsequently, the helicopter struck the ground, the right skid broke, and the helicopter came to rest on its right side.

Postaccident examination revealed that the tail rotor had struck the elk when the pilot pitched the helicopter's nose up.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom and rotor.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from an elk while maneuvering at a low altitude.

Findings

Aircraft
Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Animal(s)/bird(s) - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Other
Roll over

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Heliwild Investments LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N338HW

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Factual Report

Location: Heber City, UT
Accident Number: GAA18CA127
Date & Time: 02/12/2018, 1553 MST
Registration: N338HW
Aircraft: HUGHES 369
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

The helicopter pilot reported that, he was maneuvering at a low altitude in an attempt to net an elk. When the helicopter was approximately above the elk, his attention was immediately focused forward due to a small rise in terrain. He pitched the nose of the helicopter up, and the helicopter started to shake and spin. Subsequently, the helicopter struck the ground, the right skid broke, and the helicopter came to rest on its right side.

A post-accident examination revealed that the helicopter's tail-rotor had struck the elk when the pilot pitched the helicopter's nose up.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail-boom and rotor.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 46, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/02/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/25/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 4877.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1670 hours (Total, this make and model), 4700.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 275.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 95.1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6.4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HUGHES
Registration: N338HW
Model/Series: 369 D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 890559D
Landing Gear Type: High Skid
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/30/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 6339 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls Royce
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 250-C20B
Registered Owner: HELIWILD INVESTMENTS LLC
Rated Power: 420 hp
Operator: HELIWILD INVESTMENTS LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft External Load (133); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Helicopter Wildlife Services
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPVU, 4497 ft msl
Observation Time: 2256 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 32 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 258°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C / -8°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 8000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 330°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.79 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination:
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace:  Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  40.330000, -111.043611 (est)




SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The case of an elk that died after it leapt in the air and brought a low-flying research helicopter down in Utah highlights the use of helicopters in wildlife monitoring, which has been criticized by animal-rights groups but praised as effective by wildlife managers.

The sound of the chopper blades and the wind kicked up by the helicopters can be terrifying for animals, said Jennifer Best with the group Friends of Animals.

"They're loud and they're scary and it's dangerous to the various wildlife that's impacted, and, as this demonstrates, can also be dangerous to the personnel who are operating the helicopter," she said.

She called for the use of less-invasive monitoring tools, like cameras or video monitoring.

The helicopter crew was trying to capture the elk with a net to fit it with a tracking collar before the Monday crash in the mountains about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Salt Lake City.

Wildlife officials said it was a fluke accident during an otherwise by-the-book operation. The two people on board were not seriously hurt, but the elk died after jumping into the chopper's tail rotor.

The helicopters are the best way to reach remote wildlife, and the tracking collars placed on elk gather the most detailed information on animals so managers can keep herds healthy, said Mark Hadley with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

That information is used to determine the number of hunting licenses the state can offer and minimize interactions with farmers, he said. The animals are not threatened or endangered in Utah.

The state captures more than 1,000 animals a year and the vast majority are unaffected by the procedure, he said. Crews use nets rather than tranquilizer guns on elk because they don't respond well to the drugs.

It's illegal for private helicopters to chase wildlife in Utah, but Hadley said crews contracted by the state crews are highly trained and know how to get in and out quickly to minimize any disruption to the animals, he said.

Most of the division's work is paid for from hunting and licensing fees.

Wildlife groups are also objecting to a plan to use helicopters to monitor mountain goats and bighorn sheep in another part of Utah designated as wilderness area. Kirk Robinson of the Western Wildlife Conservancy said the main concern is that aircraft would disrupt the untouched quality of the area, but the crash also highlights concerns about the dangers of helicopters in mountain terrain, where cleaning up any debris would be a big challenge.

Wild-horse advocates have long opposed use of helicopters in roundups intended to shrink the size of herds that federal land managers say are overpopulated in many parts of the West.

They say the sound and wind created by the machines terrifies and can injure the horses. But most judges have sided with federal land managers who say the helicopters are efficient and the risks are low.


http://www.heraldcourier.com



WASATCH COUNTY, Utah – Authorities are investigating after an elk brought down a helicopter in Wasatch County.

According to the Jared Rigby with the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, authorities received a distress signal from the aircraft at about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Search and rescue teams and Fruitland EMS responded to the remote area near the Current Creek Dam.

“A helicopter crew was in the process of capturing Elk for the state of Utah,” Wasatch County Search and Rescue wrote. “The cow elk somehow jumped up and hit the tail rotor of the chopper. This almost severed the tail rotor and ended the flight of this chopper.”

The two people who were aboard the helicopter suffered minor cuts and bruises.

The helicopter is a total loss.

“Not something you see every day when an Elk brings down a chopper,” search and rescue wrote.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has been tracking the migration patterns of the elk and contracted the pilots.

DWR officials said the elk did not survive the incident.


http://fox13now.com






FRUITLAND, Duchesne County — A pilot and passenger from Australia sustained only small cuts and bruises when an elk jumped and severed the tail rotor of their helicopter Monday evening near Currant Creek in Wasatch County.

The pair was attempting to net the animal, Wasatch County Search and Rescue said on Facebook.

Few details were immediately released, and it was not clear how the elk fared. First responders from Fruitland evaluated the two aboard the helicopter.

"Not something you see every day when an Elk brings down a chopper," the rescue group wrote in the Facebook post.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was investigating.

Story, video and photo gallery:  https://www.ksl.com

Greek-Designed Aircraft Takes Off



A two-seat airplane made in Florina, northern Greece — a labor of love for a retired Greek policeman turned designer — is ready for the market

This is the third aircraft designed and made by Giorgos Iliopoulos, according to the Athens Macedonian News Agency’s Radio 104.9.

The first two were ultralight, one-seaters and the second in order, Archon (Lord) was successful and was registered in Italy to be manufactured there.

The new model, the Atairon VIP which seats two, was constructed in Florina and is ready to go to the production stage.

Iliopoulos, however, is not an aircraft engineer, nor a mechanic. He is a former police officer, who managed with passion, perseverance and imagination to give this project life.

“I tried to design an aircraft without the disadvantages of other models of this category that have been established in the market.

“I studied all the disadvantages I experienced as an operator and trainer, and I wanted to give it better standards, be more spacious, more efficient, more economical and beautiful,” Iliopoulos told 104.9.

Atairon VIP took 16 months to build. In December it started its test flights. “In the Spring, they can start regular flights and logically go out on the market… It’s name Atairon means the one who is without match.”

Iliopoulos — pilot, instructor pilot and president of the Aero Club of Florina — began to collect, data and information on aircraft construction in 1981.

“With Archon, I followed all legal construction requirements and regulations. I discovered something completely random, a way to fly better with this shape, a funnel that gave it momentum. It came first in its class and from there it took its name, “Archon”, leader, leader in its category,” Iliopoulos said.

“Our country does not have an industrial, craft and export perspective. I had to register in Italy, not in my country,” he added.

Story, video and photo ➤ http://greece.greekreporter.com

Thursday ceremony set for Bert Mooney Airport (KBTM) new terminal; everyone invited



Butte’s new $10.5 million airport terminal will get its public debut Thursday and anyone is welcome to check it out during an early evening ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Operations and security screening won’t start until the following week, so people can take in the entire 27,000-square foot building from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. It is located at 101 Airport Road off of Harrison Avenue. 

“People can get in and mill around,” Airport Manager Pam Chamberlin said Monday. “It looks spectacular.”

Local officials, airline representatives and members of the Airport Authority and Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce will be on hand, she said. Montana’s congressional delegation has been invited, too.

Dave Palmer, Butte-Silver Bow’s chief executive, will be among those giving remarks, and refreshments will be served.

Most of the project was funded with federal dollars but Butte-Silver Bow County kicked in $1 million from an economic development trust fund. Construction began in August 2016 so the project was completed in about 17 months.

The makeover of Bert Mooney Airport actually goes back to 2011, when three years of work started on milling and repaving the runways. In 2015, the parking lot was completely redone with 50 new spaces added.

The terminal was designed to give people, especially first-time visitors, a great first impression of Butte. Glass all around gives expansive views of Butte, the East Ridge and other nearby mountains. When the old terminal next door is torn down, people will get a great view of the Highlands too.

The lead architect on the project was Butte native Paul Powers, who has led design, renovation and expansion efforts at 38 airport passenger terminals across the U.S.

This terminal’s features include a headframe entrance, mining-timber woodwork and skylights and portals to let daylight in.

Equipment and materials from the old terminal will be moved to the new one next week and operations from there should start with the first flight out next Wednesday, Feb. 20, Chamberlin said.

Although the terminal is primarily for passengers, the airport is served by Delta/SkyWest, Butte Aviation and Life Flight, as well as several rental car companies.

It also accommodates recreational flying and parachuting, corporate and business activity, aerial firefighting, military exercises, search and rescue and flight training, among other activities.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://mtstandard.com